To Play or to Die

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Spelen of Sterven
(To Play or to Die)
To Play or To Die.jpg
DVD cover
Directed by Frank Krom
Produced by
  • Maria Peters
  • Hans Pos
  • Dave Schram
  • Jose Steen
Written by
  • Frank Krom
  • Anne van de Putte
Story by Anna Blaman
  • Geert Hunaerts
  • Tjebbo Gerritsma
Music by
  • Ferdinand Bakker
  • Kim Hayworth
Cinematography Nils Post
Edited by Sander Vos
Distributed by Shooting Star Film Distribution BV
Release date
Running time
47 minutes
Country Netherlands
Language Dutch

To Play or to Die (Dutch: Spelen of Sterven) is a 1990 Dutch gay-related psychological drama film directed by Frank Krom in his directorial debut and co-written by Krom and Anne van de Putte based on a story by Anna Blaman.


In this short motion picture, schoolboy Kees is intelligent, introvert and sensitive, but gets ridiculed verbally and physically at an all-boys school by mindlessly cocky class mates and even insensitive teachers, especially in gym, where his physical weakness is mercilessly abused to make him a defenceless laughing stock in front of his smirking peers. His awakening sexual interest goes to boys, and in particular to Charel, a beautiful athletic classmate who probably feels an undetermined interest but would never risk admitting (possibly not even to himself) having any gay or bi appreciation, least of all for a 'sissy', and thus remains unresponsive to shy Kees' overtures. When the hunk finally comes over to Kees' place while his parents are away, a desperate disappointment with a tragical twist is in the making.


  • Geert Hunaerts as Kees van Wouden
  • Tjebbo Gerritsma as Charel
  • Joost Hienen as Charel's friend
  • Cock van der Lee as Charel's friend
  • Mike Starink as Charel's friend
  • Marc van Uchelen as Charel's friend
  • Diane Lensink as Mother
  • Wim Van Der Grijn as Father
  • Hilde Van Mieghem as French Teacher
  • Titus Muizelaar as Phys. Ed. Teacher
  • Simon Gribling as Math. Teacher


While there are no critical reviews, the film received mixed reviews from audiences, holding a 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 72 user reviews, with an average rating of 3.3/5.[1]


  1. ^ "To Play or to Die (1990)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 25 December 2015. 

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